Sweet but not too sweet, these brownie-like almond flour cookies are a delightful treat. The balance of bitterness from the chocolate, sweet—but not too sweet—from sugar, and a sprinkle of salt on top, all make for a match made in heaven.
The surprise guest is a bit of Kashmiri (or cayenne) chili powder that gives the cookies a wonderful complex depth of flavor. However, these cookies are craveable without it. Best of all, your loved ones will not even know they are gluten-free!
For the love of chocolate
I claim no Indian connection to this cookie recipe except for the addition of half a teaspoon of Kashmiri chili powder. This mild fruity pepper doesn’t offer any heat at this dose, but you can certainly add more for some kick. Like many people on the planet, Indians love chocolate, and these cookies are flavored with two chocolate hits: cocoa and chips or chunks.
I go dark chocolate for the chips, but feel free to chop up chocolate bars or sub in your favorite chips—white or milk chocolate, butterscotch, cinnamon, or even mint. My favorite chocolate chips are the Ghiradelli 60% Cocao because they are larger than most chips and give a larger melty pool of chocolate throughout the cookie.
This recipe yields around 20 heaping one-tablespoon cookies. A smart move would be to shape all the cookies but freeze some unbaked for when you need some cookie comfort.
This recipe is special because
- No chilling time is needed, so instant gratification
- No brown sugar required
- Crisp and chewy around the edges and fudgy in the middle
- Even people who don't eat gluten-free will ask for them again and again
Happily, there are no hard-to-find ingredients.
Dry ingredients: Almond flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and optionally, espresso powder (which enhances the chocolate flavor), and chili powder.
Wet ingredients: Granulated sugar, eggs, butter, melted chocolate chips, and vanilla.
Optional add-ins and garnish: Walnuts, chocolate chips, and a sprinkling of coarse salt. I also like to press a few chocolate chips on the top of the cookies just before baking.
How to make chocolate cookies
Gather the ingredients, line the baking trays, and preheat the oven. Melt the butter and chocolate together while creaming the eggs and sugar.
Melt chocolate and butter together
Whisk egg and sugar until foamy
Stir the chocolate mixture into the eggs and sugar. Mix all the dry ingredients except the chocolate chips and nuts.
Stir melted chocolate into eggs
Mix dry ingredients together
Add the dry ingredients to the wet batter and stir to combine. Mix in the nuts and chocolate chips and scoop the cookies and place them on baking trays.
The dough ready for shaping
Cookies ready for baking
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets.
Tips and Tricks
- When measuring almond flour, don't pack it but scoop loosely
- Use Dutch process cocoa for a richer chocolate flavor
- You can use almond meal instead of almond flour, but the cookies will be a bit denser
- While optional, espresso powder gives the cookies a darker, richer chocolate flavor
- Feel free to skip the chili powder, but at this amount, there won't be any noticeable heat, just a nice added umami
- You can also skip the salt on top, but it adds such a lovely balance of bitter, sweet and salty
Natural, Dutch, & black cocoa
In the world of cocoa, we have more options than ever before. Here is a quick guide to your choices:
Natural cocoa is the most commonly cocoa found in U.S. supermarkets. Think Hershey or Ghirardelli Natural Unsweetened cocoas. This cocoa tends to have acidic and sharp undertones.
Dutch cocoa is processed with potassium carbonate which mellows out the acidity of the chocolate. It typically, but not always comes from better beans and is darker, higher in fat, and has a nuttier flavor. It gives baked goods a richer and deeper chocolate flavor. Cakes made with this cocoa tend to be a bit denser and fudgier.
Darker still, black cocoa is also Dutch cocoa, but it is even less acidic. It is the main ingredient in Oreo cookies.
If you do a lot of baking with cocoa, you may want to buy it in bulk. Stella Parks of Serious Eats loves the natural cocoa powder from Penzeys, Sunfoods, or GERBS, all of which can be found in bulk by mail order.
For Dutch process cocoa, I rely on the most easily found brands like Hershey's Special Dark, or if I am feeling fancy, the Droste or Valhrona brands.
This recipe is one of the 10 dishes I make over and over!
More cookies to make!
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Please rate by clicking stars ⭐️ on the recipe card and/or let me know in the comments below. Thank you! ~Alonna
Recipe Card 📖
Almond Flour Chocolate Cookies
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips ~ More to mix into the batter at the end
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1/3 cup Dutch cocoa powder ~ See Notes below
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea or table salt ~ Or 1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder ~ Optional
- 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri ground red chili ~ Optional, see Notes below
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips ~ Or chunks. See Notes below
- 3/4 cup walnut pieces ~ I like nuts, you do you
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt ~ For sprinkling. I prefer flaky Maldon salt
- Gather your ingredients and turn on the oven to 350°F / 180°F. If making 20 one-tablespoon-sized (36g) cookies, you will need three baking sheets. Line them with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, add 2/3 cup of dark chocolate chips and three tablespoons of butter. Heat on high in the microwave in 30-second increments. I typically only need two cycles. If you aren't using a microwave to melt the chocolate, see FeelGoodFoodie for the best stovetop instructions.
- Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, on medium-high speed, beat the sugar and eggs until the mixture lightens in color and is creamy and foamy. About 3 minutes. A hand-held mixer will work too, but it will take a minute or two longer.
- Remove the mixer bowl from the stand and pour the melted chocolate and vanilla into the egg and sugar batter. Stir to combine.
- In a medium bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients except the chips, nuts, and coarse salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg, butter, and chocolate mixture. Stir to combine.
- Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips. The batter will be soft and a bit sticky. Heap a one-tablespoon scoop or a spoon (36g) to measure out balls of dough. If the dough begins to stick to the scoop, spray it with baking spray or dip it into cold water.
- Place the cookies on the baking sheets spacing them at least 2" apart. Sprinkle with coarse salt, if using. You may want to press in some extra chocolate chips and walnuts into the top as well. Press each ball of dough about halfway so they are about 1/2-inches thick.
- Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes. You want the cookie centers to be still a bit puffy and soft. They will continue to bake briefly as they rest on the baking sheet. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.
- Store the chocolate cookies in an airtight container for up to three days or pop them in the freezer (if they last that long). If you don't want to bake all the cookies at once, shape the extra cookies into balls and freeze them on a tray. When frozen, store them in an air-tight container for up to three months.
- Cocoa: You can use unsweetened natural cocoa powder. However, these spicy chocolate cookies won’t be quite as rich and chocolaty. But they will still be good!
- Chili powder: At this chili level, you are getting fruity umami with no discernable heat. But if you want heat, add more to your taste. If you want more in-your-face heat, try ancho chili powder, or even 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper.
- Chip ideas: Use your favorite chips: dark, milk, or white chocolate, butterscotch, cinnamon, or even mint.